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All reviews al waha lazy river kids club family hotel samba restaurant adventure zone splash pad interconnecting rooms the ground floor surf cafe chi spa pool bar sea view melon half board heritage village water activities
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Reviewed 24 November 2015

This resort has actually three separate hotels, situated with sea shore on one side, limestone rocky hills on the other side. It has everything you will need in the resort, great restaurants, bars, beach, etc. But it is isolated from the real world. You can always hop onto taxi a shuttle bus (runs daily in the afternoon), and go to old town Muscat. Great place to hang out for a few days in Middle East.

Date of stay: October 2015
2  Thank TX1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markskirk, General Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Al Waha Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2015

Dear 1717, Thank you for posting your feedback on TripAdvisor and sharing your complementary feedback with the readers of your review. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay and that you also had the opportunity to explore Muscat. Warm regards, Mark Kirk

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Reviewed 19 November 2015

We were a party of two adults and two teenage boys, and thought this was just about a perfect hotel. The beach and the pools and the long, lazy river are wonderful, not least because the water is so warm that you can walk in without hesitating - very different even to the Mediterranean. The staff are very pleasant and helpful - genuinely so, not an act. And the range of restaurants suited us very well - gourmet when we adults felt like it, but good burgers, wraps etc for the boys - and often for us as well. The prices were high, but not extortionate.

Some particular points:-

Although there were lots of young children, they were all very well behaved so we didn't (as I feared) regret not being in one of the other two hotels in the resort.

The resort isn't well situated for sightseeing. Greater Muscat is long and thin, and the hotel is at one end of it and so a long way from the principal sights, and even further from the airport - 40 minutes in light traffic and much longer in the rush hour. But we hired a car for two days (the hotel organised it) and had a good time, even reaching Nizwa on the other side of the mountains - but it was a c. 3 hour journey each way, so maybe not for all - nor, to be honest for our bored teenage passengers.

We rather reluctantly went on a dolphin watching trip from the resort - but it was a huge success. Highly recommended. The snorkelling trip was OK, but less memorable. We had almost as much fun snorkelling along the hotel beach.

It's a lovely situation at all times, but particularly at night - truly beautiful. And the rooms and service were as good as you would expect from a hotel of this class. We were very happy here and hope to return.

Date of stay: October 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Z5222RKmartins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markskirk, General Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Al Waha Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2015

Dear Martin S, Thank you for sharing your feedback with the fans of TripAdvisor in regards to your October trip. I am delighted your teenagers enjoyed the resort and appreciate you highlighting the dolphin trip and snorkeling directly off the beaches of the resort. Great tip on hiring a car as it is a great way to get around the sights and Oman has so much to offer. Hopefully you will return, Warm regards, Mark Kirk

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Reviewed 19 November 2015 via mobile

We booked & paid for a "Superior Room with a Balcony" but were given 2 x rooms on the ground floor. I queried this but was told in no uncertain terms that that was all my booking permitted. On arrival at the room(s) I checked the booking online. The staff were wrong PLUS my elderly parents were given rooms with another guests gift if a fruit basket, as the name tag indicated. I demanded a change of rooms, as was accommodated. We waited over 30 mins for someone to come to meet us to escort us to outlet correct rooms. We gave up & went to reception ourselves only to find our luggage still waiting there & the receptionist telling us it had already been sent??!! Again my parents were given a room with another persons gifts in there (a ½ case of wine) plus a ½ drunk bottle of Perrier. I requested to speak with the manager (Khalifa) who was fantastic. Thank you. On both nights we requested an ice bucket to our room. Each time we have up waiting & calling & had to go to reception ourselves.

An amazing location but staffed by people who generally don't care. The manager Khalifa was however exceptionally professional & accommodating after speaking with him. He's a credit to the establishment.

Date of stay: November 2015
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank trip-experiencing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markskirk, General Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Al Waha Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2015

Dear trip-experiencing, Thank you for posting your feedback on TripAdvisor. I am really sorry to read that you experienced some service issues and appreciate you highlighting Khalifa for resolving these in a professional manner. I really appreciate the constructive comments which I will certainly share with the team for improvement. Hopefully you will return and experience better service on your next visit. Warm regards, Mark Kirk

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Reviewed 18 November 2015

While staying with friends in Oman they took us to the Shangrila for a day on a 'Day in Paradise' day pass (25 OMR) which includes full use of facilities and a buffet lunch. To be honest I'm not a fan of hotels in general as it just reminds me of being in work but the atmosphere on the beach on around the various pools was relaxing and the staff where attentive and friendly. We settled on loungers on grass near a children's play area (for my friends little ones) the staff brought us towels, water in a personal cooler and periodically offered us cooled face towels and fresh fruit. The highlight for me however was probably the buffet. Again, I'm not a fan of buffets but this really was the creme de la creme of buffets. Every taste was catered for to the highest possible level and the food was displayed very well. No matter which station I went to it looked like no-one else had touched it, always full always beautifully arranged. My favourites may have been the tempura station and weirdly the pizza?
After lunch me and my partner jumped in a double dingy and lazed our way around the lazy river ride (which we loved so much we went around again). And as the sun went down we sat at the pool bar with a mojito reflecting that within their capabilities they got quite close to a day in paradise.

Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank viv000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markskirk, General Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Al Waha Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2015

Dear viv000, Thank you for spending the day with us and posting your feedback on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read you enjoyed yourselves and will certainly share your feedback with the chef and service team. Hopefully you will choose the resort to stay at if you return to Muscat in the future. Warm regards, Mark Kirk

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Reviewed 15 November 2015

We stayed at the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa (Al Waha hotel). The resort is a bay with three hotels: Al Waha is a family hotel, Al Bandar is more corporate with banqueting halls and Al Husn is more at the traditional luxury end of the scale. You can easily walk between the three hotels, especially Al Waha and Al Bandar.

Al Waha is great for families with lots for small children to do (football pitch, outdoor draughts, kiddy water features, lazy river, camel rides to name just a few). It was also good for a couple and we just sunbathed nearer to Al Bandar than to the children’s facilities (more adults, less kids).

The rooms are large and well appointed: we had a sea view room on the fourth floor and it was very comfortable, well maintained and had everything we needed. Housekeeping was a little sporadic with notes left under our door to say they couldn’t do a turn-down service as we had a do not disturb sign on the door…but we didn’t! But that was the only issue; other than that it had everything we needed and lots of space to move around and wardrobe and drawer space too. It also had an iron and board, which is a big plus - every hotel should have them in every room. They also make sure you’re well supplied with complementary water too.

The outdoor areas of the hotel are very well presented and life guards are ever present and proactive around pools and on the beach, which was nice to see. A lazy river connects Al Waha and Al Bandar, which provides tremendous fun for adults and children alike with rubber rings provided to travel along the circular route. The gardens are also well kept and attendants ensure you are well looked when sunbathing in the gardens or on the beach with beach towels, cold towels and fruit and everyone receives a cool box each day with bottles of water and ice, which is most welcome in 30+ degree heat!

The resort has an amphitheatre, which hosts a concert every year. This year the Stereophonics played while we were there. We didn’t go but we walked past and it looked good. If you’re staying at the hotel, it might be worth checking out what’s on.

The gym is good also.

The resort is not in Muscat itself, it is on the outskirts, so if you want to get anywhere it is quite a journey. We chose to eat out at The Chedi one night and it cost us around £50 for a round-trip taxi fare. The hotel does offer a shuttle bus to take you to the Souk in the old city and to one of the shopping malls but they are at specified times and you need to book to guarantee a place.

Service throughout the hotel was courteous and helpful and the hotel is kept very clean.

The resort has more than a dozen restaurants and cafes to choose from. Food and alcohol is much more expensive than you would expect to pay in Europe. On one evening we opted for two bowls of pasta, two glasses of wine and a bottle of still water and the bill came to over £50. All of the restaurants are good but not outstanding. Capri Court was our favourite (Italian) but the best meal we had while in Oman was in The Chedi Hotel in the city. Sultanah in the Al Husn hotel was supposed to be fine dining and therefore I would expect it to be on a par with The Chedi but it absolutely wasn’t and the service was very poor. Our least favourite was Fairouz (Lebanese) where the food was lovely but the atmosphere was very strange.

The wine lists are almost the same at every restaurant - fine dining restaurants such as Sultanah are an exception - and all of it is very expensive if you’re used to buying wine in Europe. Even the Lebanese wine, which you might expect to be cheaper, isn't.

We ate at the following:

Tapas
You might imagine this would be Spanish but it’s actually a mix of Asian and Mediterranean plus a few extra things like a plate of three mini burgers, bizarrely, which means that your meal can be a bit mis-matched if you don’t choose well. The menu has a helpful tick list so that you can avoid the usual time consuming activity of remembering all the different dishes you want to order. As with all restaurants at this resort my summary is: the food is good, nothing extra special but perfectly fine if you’re staying at the hotel but I don’t think any of the restaurants would be a ‘destination’ if you were staying in another hotel - not least because the Shangri-La is so far out of the city that it would be expensive to get a taxi.

Al Tanoor
This is one of the hotel’s buffet restaurants, where guests can have a buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had one dinner here, which was very nice. The live outdoor cooking was particularly well presented.

Capri Court
The resort’s Italian restaurant, where we ate a couple of times, has a lovely position looking out over the beach and is very atmospheric in the evening. The service in Capri Court was probably the best restaurant service we received at Shangri-La.

Sultanah
This restaurant is themed on a cruise liner and they have a daily menu that changes depending on which ‘port’ the ship has docked in (use your imagination) with around five courses. It’s expensive, it cost us around £175 for a meal for two with a bottle of wine and for this I would have naturally high expectations of food, atmosphere and service. The food was lovely - but not as good as The Chedi - but it was the service that really let it down. The food was brought to us with a dome over and revealed at the table: the waiter then told us what was in front of us seemingly as an afterthought, as he walked away. All of the service was very rushed, it felt like your plate of food was flung down quickly in front of you and they couldn’t leave your table fast enough. I assumed this was because they were short staffed but, looking around, they seemed to be well resourced. The gentleman who appeared to be the restaurant manager was also quite abrupt in his approach and I would imagine this culture feeds down to his team. It’s a shame because it’s the poor service that I remember more than the food. At the start of the evening we were rushed through our first few courses and, by the end, were ignored and weren’t offered coffee - we had to catch someone’s attention to ask for the bill having had our dessert plates in front of us for at least twenty minutes.
Table tip: book outside (if it’s not too hot) and ask for a table right at the front so that you are overlooking the beach.

Samba
This is where we had a buffet breakfast each morning. Lots of choice, all good quality and a very efficient and proactive service from the very busy team serving us each morning - they seemed to work well together. The breakfast selection included the usual fruit, cereal, hot food selection, omelette/egg station and sweet treats, as well as an Arabic breakfast and a lovely choice of juices and smoothie shots. Sitting outside, a system of water vapourisers and fans keep it as cool and comfortable as possible. I’m a big breakfast fan on holiday so I like a good selection and nice omelettes and Samba definitely met my expectations.

Fairouz
This was a very strange experience: the food and service were very good but the atmosphere and setting were very odd. This Lebanese restaurant is situated not in any of the three hotels, but behind them near the resort’s Heritage Village and amphitheatre. I would recommend eating outside rather than inside as the interior of the restaurant didn’t seem to be very well appointed; however, that said, the ‘outside’, which is more of a courtyard, was like something that designers of shopping malls include in the food halls - theming a new build restaurant, rather than how you might design a restaurant in a hotel or city centre, where you would try to make it look more authentic. In addition to the design, these are my concerns with this restaurant:
- the entertainer came ‘outside’ to have a cigarette i.e in the middle of all the diners, rather than actually leaving the restaurant to smoke outside
- a child kept coming to and fro through the restaurant on a hover-board. Not sure if he was a child of a guest or a member of staff but it’s not good form to have a child whizzing through a restaurant when you’re eating
- the door between the courtyard and the restaurant was a manual sliding door - or a broken automatic one more likely - that doesn’t close properly and makes an horrendous noise
- they bring a plate of salad to your table at the start of your meal - no, not a prepared salad - an actual bowl of salad ingredients: a whole cucumber, a whole bell pepper, a whole chilli pepper, a whole tomato, a bunch of fresh mint and salad leaves - totally bizarre. Not sure if this is a Lebanese tradition (if so, they need to explain this) but it seems like a horrible waste of food to me because I’m not about to start preparing my own salad at a dinner table with no utensils, no salad bowl, no dressings etc. Very bizarre.

However, the food I have to say was good. We like Lebanese food and I couldn’t fault our meal; it just would have been better to enjoy it in a less bizarre atmosphere.

Room tip: We stayed on the fourth floor and had a sea view
Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank welovefabhotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markskirk, General Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Al Waha Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2015

Dear welovefabhotels, Thank you for posting you review on TripAdvisor in regards to your recent stay. I am sure the potential guests reading your review will find the detailed information you have provided when planning their stay with us. In regards to the Lebanese restaurant it is a tradition to serve the plate of salad and vegetable to pick at while relaxing before choosing the menu, obviously this should have been explained. I am delighted to read you would return. Warm regards, Mark Kirk

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